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Intellectual taste, he says

December 22, 2008
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I don’t have any small change and decided to do a small impromptu shopping. I was hoping to find something useful. I have this bad habit of finding useless trinkets *duh*

I went out from a small alley, looked to my right and decided to turn that way, passed the Burger King shop, kept inching slowly as the lunch drowsiness syndrome kicks in and.. bumped into an English book shop! A couple of occidental guys were talking in a language I couldn’t understand. Must be one of those former Soviet states..

Having scanned the shop, IMHO, it has a pretty impressive collections, I’d say. I’ve read some of them and have heard about them. How lovely! At the end of the far shelf tucked near the B-rated novels, my sight caught Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World”. The price was okay, although I think it was a bit expensive by 5-10% compared to my regular used book shop. I asked for “On the Road” by Kerouac. The shop attendant, a Japanese-looking one (I think he’s the owner) pointed me to a shelf full of Penguin classic series. There you go, the whole series of Dostoevsky (even the Ivan Denisovich one). But it was still a bit pricey. I thanked him and proceeded to pay the Huxley copy.

He was wondering where I was from. I asked him to guess. “Can’t be that far, ” he said. I stated my port of origin. He quickly mentioned a well-known write, whose books I don’t read because I don’t want to be associated with the label of pseudoliterate. He asked me again where did I study. It seems that he has some knowledge that English is as foreign as Greek in where I come from. I said that I’ve never been to any English-speaking countries. The only dose of English in the francophone part of Canada is “The Montreal Gazette”. He grinned, saying that I have an intellectual taste *LOL*

Yea rite.. Anybody who graduated from K-12 must have read those books that I was looking for. Since my K-12 didn’t involve much English, I need to do a lot of catch up. I can read the Cliff Notes version of those books, but since I don’t really use my brain to solve Rocket science equation, reading Huxley in foreign language would be a good intellectual masturbation. So much for intellectual taste while my actual goal is actually to find a small change for the taxi ride back to my place.

BTW, here’s a huge list that I have to digest, not to mention two language phrasebook that I at least have to look at for the sake of respecting local culture and people.. ah.. if only they’re in Latin!

  • Anonymous – Primary Colors
  • Achebe, Chinua – Things Fall Apart
  • Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi – Purple Hibiscus
  • Capote, Truman – In Cold Blood
  • Coupland, Douglas – Girlfriend in a Coma
  • Coupland, Douglas – Th Gum Thief
  • Coetzee, J.M. – Disgrace
  • Enright, Ann – The Gathering
  • Foer, Jonathan Safran – Everything is Illuminated
  • Huxley, Aldous – Brave New World
  • Khoo Thwe, Pascal – From the Land of the Green Ghosts: A Burmese Odyssey
  • McCourt, Frank – Angela’s Ashes
  • Hersh, Seymour M. – Chain of Command
  • Murakami, Haruki – After Dark
  • Murakami, Haruki – What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
  • Nisbett, Richard E. – The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently.. and Why
  • Pasternak, Boris – Doctor Zhivago
  • Wiseman, John “Lofty” – SAS Survival Guide
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